After 15 days of imposing the lockdown on Uttar Kattoli (ward 10) in Chattogram city, the number of Covid-19 positive cases has dropped to 14 from 145 there.
It was marked as a red zone after 145 residents of the area were detected as Covid-19 positive. But within 16 days of the lockdown, all the affected people have almost recovered except three while only 14 new cases have been identified.
Three patients out of the 145 have died.
Since June 17, the lockdown has been imposed on the area for 21 days. People concerned think that strict monitoring, setting up of a testing booth, which gives results of Covid-19 tests within 48 hours, and distributing cooked food among the people of the area have brought the success.
Nisar Uddin Manju, councillor of the ward, said, "We have distributed cooked meals among 30,000 families. We have reached food to 6,000 families as gifts from our prime minister. Our vans of fish have travelled the whole ward and sold fish to low-income people. We have deployed 250 volunteers for 24 hours monitoring."
He said the coronavirus test results of two people among the 14 newly affected patients came negative in the second time testing.
Mohammad Samsuddoha, chief executive officer of Chattogram City Corporation, said, "We have got an amazing result of imposing lockdown on Uttar Kattoli. True, we faced a lot of trouble to implement it strictly as industrial establishments were open. Still, only 14 people got affected with the virus in 16 days. Earlier, the number of infected people was 10 times higher."
Sheikh Fazle Rabbi, civil surgeon of Chattogram, said, "The lockdown has worked well. Earlier the number of Covid-19 positive cases was 145 per one lakh. Now it has decreased to 59 per one lakh. We will sit again after the lockdown period is over. We are thinking about imposing lockdown on the severely affected areas as per the decision of the health ministry."
According to locals, at first, the administration decided that industrial establishments and all shops, including pharmacies, would remain close during the lockdown period.
But as per the decision of the ministry, industrial establishments were kept open for the first two days.
Then the city mayor and the ward councillor held a meeting with the leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) in this regard and decided to keep six BGMEA factories closed.
On the other hand, some residents defied the lockdown as they had good relation with the people involved in the implementation of the lockdown. They were fined by the executive magistrates, who went to visit the area.
However, after 14 days, the administration relaxed the lockdown. It gave permission to keep the shops open from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm.
Sangjukta Das Gupta, a resident of the area, is a government official. She said, "I and my husband have to go to office in these days of lockdown. It would be better if the people of this area, who work in other areas, could enjoy general holidays during this lockdown."
Rana Chowdhury, another resident of the ward, said the administration had monitored the area strictly. But some people did not obey the rules. Some people, close to the volunteers, roamed around freely, he said. If it could be prevented, 100 percent success would come in 15 days, he added.
Mostafizur Rahman Chowdhury, officer-in-charge of Akbar Shah Police Station, said the law enforcement agencies had been active since the first day of the lockdown.
There were petrol teams of police. Besides, out of 20 gates in the adjacent areas, 14 gates were blocked to restrict people's movement, Mustafizur said.